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Skiing to a Prayer Meeting

Russia

A Story from the 20th Century

The Soviet Union was a communist country that broke up into smaller countries in the late 20th century. Before the break-up, it was the world’s most powerful communist country.

During that time, Christians from all over the Soviet Union were sent to Siberia for punishment. Although there are also warm places in Siberia, it is known for being very cold. In some places in Siberia, when someone exhales, the moisture in their breath freezes solid and drops to the ground. (Source: Atlantic Monthly)

One winter, three Siberian students met secretly every morning at 6 o’clock for prayer. They rose early before school started and skied over snowy paths to a forest. They met in all kinds of weather, even when temperatures were below zero. They prayed for their country.

God gave their region of Siberia a spiritual awakening, and many more youth came to Christ. So many young people became Christians that they wouldn’t fit in anyone’s house for meetings. Soon many new believers were also skiing into the forest at 6 a.m. to pray.

(Source: Faith Despite the KGB, by Hermann Hartfield)

To Think About

  • What is a “spiritual awakening?”
  • The students gathered to pray for a mighty move of God in their country. Can you name some of the obstacles they faced in getting together for prayer?
  • Have you ever prayed for more people to come to Christ in your country or in a country where Christians are persecuted?
  • What obstacles do Christian young people in the 21st century have that might make it hard for them to get together for prayer? In what ways is it easier today than it was for the Siberian youth?



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